COLUMBUS, Ohio — After trailing briefly by two near the end of the first period, the Ferris State Bulldogs rebounded with four unanswered goals — three of them on special teams — to beat the Ohio State Buckeyes 4-2 and complete the series road sweep.
It was Cody Chupp’s shorthanded marker at 16:29 in the first that pulled the Bulldogs into a game in which the Buckeyes had been dominant. The goal came less than two minutes after OSU had made it a 2-0 game, when the Buckeyes were outshooting the Bulldogs nearly five-to-one, and as FSU was attempting to kill off the rest of a five-minute penalty on which the Buckeyes had already scored.
“Our first goal was huge tonight,” said Bulldog head coach Bob Daniels. “We were getting it handed to us pretty well. That goal right there gave us a boost going into the locker room. Then we got the kill, and I thought really gave us an awful lot of momentum. For us, that was a jumping off point.
“Without that shorthanded goal, it might have been a different outcome tonight.”
Brendan Connolly added two goals for FSU, including the second-period equalizer, Justin Menke had the game-winner in the second, and junior Mitch O’Keefe improved his lifetime record against OSU to 4-1-1, making 30 saves in the win.
“We’ve been playing so well lately as a group,” said O’Keefe, “finding ways for everyone to contribute and putting the puck in the net.”
Five of the six goals scored in the game involved special teams, with the Bulldogs going 2-for-5 on the power play with a shorthanded and the Buckeyes 2-for-7 with the man advantage. Only Connolly’s second goal to open the third period was even strength.
Ohio State was up 2-0 late in the first on freshman Todd Rudasill’s first two collegiate goals. Playing five-on-four at 10:50, Rudasill popped in Tom Fritsche’s center pass from behind the net, and again with an extra man at 14:49, Rudasill picked up the rebound of John Albert’s shot from the right point, scoring from outside the crease as the puck came left and O’Keefe stayed right.
The second goal was scored just 34 seconds after Bulldog Blair Riley was given a game misconduct for hitting Buckeye Tommy Goebels from behind, and awarded an extra five minutes for roughing. OSU’s Corey Toy also earned five minutes for roughing during the scrum that ensued along the boards in the Buckeye zone following the hit on Goebels.
Given that OSU was outshooting FSU 17-2, had scored once already on the five-minute advantage and was still up a man, Chupp’s goal at 16:29 was not only unexpected, but became the absolute turning point in the game. Chupp intercepted a pass from Johann Kroll intended for Tom Fritsche high in the FSU zone and flew down the ice to beat Joseph Palmer high over his glove to cut the FSU deficit in half and begin the Bulldog turnaround.
Connolly netted his first of the night on a two-man FSU advantage at 4:22 in the second, a sharp-angle recovery of Matt Case’s rebound from the top of the slot to tie the game. Then at 6:00, Menke game-winning goal was a soft lob from between the circles to make it 3-2 after two.
Connolly’s second goal, a tip-in from close in front that rewarded Corey Couturier’s for his hard work to center from the corner, made it 4-2 at 1:59 in the third, and even though the Buckeyes outshot the Bulldogs 10-5 in the third, there was never a doubt of the outcome. Kyle Hood’s call for tripping at 19:01 even negated OSU’s extra-skater advantage for the last minute of play.
“I saw some good things,” said Buckeye head coach John Markell. “We came out and responded for what we had preached for a day. I think that we all know that the shorthanded goal gave them a little bit of energy. After outshooting them 18-3 [in the first], we could have taken in a two-goal lead with something to build on.
“But the young kids — we’re too high, we’re too low. The sway in our emotions is too much. With a veteran team, you know, hey a two-goal lead, you can handle it. Those young guys are going to get better.
“We had a shorthanded goal, we had a five-on-three goal, and I think the third goal wasn’t a good goal.
“The good thing [was] Rudasill. We put him in there and in his first game, two goals. That’s something positive to build off of. The negative is that we lost Tommy Goebels for a bit.”
Goebels, OSU’s current leading scorer (2-3–5), was hit in open ice in the third period and left for the remainder of the game. Markell said that there is a possibility of a concussion.
Ferris State (4-3-1, 3-1-0 CCHA) has now won three league contests in a row, dating back to last weekend’s home split with Notre Dame, and the Bulldogs have allowed just two goals in those three contests, having shut out the Irish Oct. 27 and the Buckeyes Friday night. Next up for FSU is a home series against Bowling Green Nov. 9-10.
Ohio State (2-6-0, 0-4-0 CCHA) has now lost six straight games to FSU, and the Buckeyes have yet to win at home this year. The Buckeyes, who have six goals in their last six games, host Nebraska-Omaha Thursday and Friday (Nov. 8-9) next week.